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Thursday, November 26, 2009

final moments in paris, lessons learned + gifts a la paris

final moments a la paris:
it's hard to believe that we've been home for a few days now. i often say to beau, "it's already X day or X time, how did that happen?" and, without skipping a beat, he replies, "rotation of the earth." um, ok, thanks mr. scientist! however, today i ask you, "how is it already thanksgiving?" yep, rotation of the earth AND a very fast year! more on thanksgiving to come later. in the interim, chez moi is quiet (not a creature is stirring) and i wanted to share a few thoughts a la paris. since i was on dc time during my parisian adventures, we had to set the alarm on monday to get up at a reasonable hour for our final excursions. however, i'm *not* an alarm person and not happy with lack of sleep so over breakfast i confessed to beau that i'd rather hit the monoprix (across from where we had our croissants), skip h&m which was across the seine, and head back to bed for a nap. tired headaches don't make for a fun-filled shopping experience and, frankly, i don't need anything - despite my intense excitement for checking out paris' h&m. he was fine with it so after we swept through the monoprix to pick up french teas, chocolates, a sparkly infinity scarf and noir harem pants (similar to these - beau says "what's up, hammertime?") for moi. back to the apartment to pack our loot and nap only to find that the owner's maid is coming at 1pm. nap cut short and we hit the street for our sidewalk cafe finale which is where i snapped the top two photos. note the yummy flower in my jasmine tea. ahhhhh. beau's final espresso. we watched people, i ran to american apparel to snap up 2 trends i saw throughout paris: short flowy skirt and shiny leggings, and had our final sips a la paris. next stop: airport. we had time to spare so we hit the duty free shop for beaujolais nouveau and a few more gifts. i picked up lavender honey for my lavender-obsessed pops, along with rose buds for tea. next indulged in an airport chair massage and reflexology and then we boarded the plane for our 8-hour journey back to JFK. i handled all downloaded e-mails from the 10 days away, napped, and wrote. productive time crossing the atlantic. back home around midnight and no jet lag issues thanks to never getting off dc time!

paris lessons learned: 
1. savor the experience. you do *not* see to go cups in paris. people sit and savor their tea, coffee, and social time.
2. small touches are everything. i've always been a fan of small touches - scents, sounds, lighting, bows around gifts - but parisians take it a notch further. life is the small touches.
3. connect. you'll find couples in full embrace everywhere. friends meet over tea to chat. people greet each other with a double kiss.
4. stroll. i'm always rushing from one thing to the next like life is an emergency. it isn't. why not slow my pace, insert more time between events (remember my word of the year "spaciousness," and savor the transition of meeting to meeting or class to home?

gifts a la paris: 
after unpacking tuesday morning, next on my list was wrapping gifts in a flair-filled way. i pulled together the french soaps or chocolates and paired them with a chamomile or nuit calme tea. wrapped them in a black organza bow, stamped "pour vous" on numerous cards, hole punched them and added the cards to all the gifts. for the chocolates, i cut and pasted the description on the back of the card (image attached). voila. i think paris would be proud.

merci beaucoup for following moi on this journey and for all your great comments along the way via facebook, twitter, and here. i had a truly *magical experience* and am already pondering my next return. au revoir and happy, happy thanksgiving! xoxo

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1 comment:

Sarah said...

Great lessons! You can see how different Americans are than the French (and Europeans) when it comes to savoring the moment. Funny how so many Americans take mindfulness courses on being in the moment, and yet for the French it is just second nature.